Recently, the price of digital currency in Zimbabwe has soared beyond $12,000 on Harare-based trading platform Golix, almost doubling the rates on major international exchanges. Golix trade coordinator Yeukai Kusangaya expects soaring demand to drive the price even higher. Other African countries are quickly joining the race. Bitcoin is no longer a matter of specialist interest in Africa, the virtual currency is getting extremely popular. Heart-Beat asked one of the most famous African blockchain-stars Alakanani Itireleng to give an exclusive overview of the crypto situation in Africa and share her prognoses for the nearest future.
Alakanani Itireleng is a bitcoin enthusiast since 2012, founder of Satoshi center in Botswana and a number of other local educational and charity blockchain projects.
BN: Hi, Alakanani! Could you please give an overview of crypto circulation in Africa nowadays, how often people use it in real life and on what occasions?
Alakanani: I think Bitcoin is popular in Nigeria, Ghana, South Africa and Kenya. Some other African countries are picking up. Botswana this year for me was the year where I saw a lot of bitcoin activities (buying and selling). Usually, this growth is driven by people’s desire to make profits, like bitcoin mining. People in Botswana are inquiring about Bitclub mining, for example, and a lot of people buy bitcoin as an investment.
BN: What’s happening with the bitcoin rate in Zimbabwe, why is it rocketing?
Alakanani: I think the prices in Zimbabwe are so high because bitcoin is the currency of choice for many people and the high demand for Bitcoin pushes the prices high. The other reason is that Zimbabwe is undergoing a financial crisis. Thats just my view.
*The government of Zimbabwe has issued “bond notes” which were claimed to be equivalent value to the US dollar. But their value has dropped sharply on black market exchanges, leading to price inflation. Unsurprisingly, bond notes are not accepted by foreign entities and exchanges.
I also have customers who want bitcoin in order to send money for their families in Zimbabwe because they have realized, that it’s cheaper to send money via bitcoin, as their families can use Golix to sell bitcoin for ecocash. I believe a lot of countries in Africa are soon gonna find refuge in Bitcoin.
BN: What’s going on with your Bitcoin project, Satoshi center?
Alakanani: At Satoshi center, we are always trying to assist the growth of any local blockchain project, for we believe the future is blockchain. Things are a bit tough at Satoshi center right now. We have been running the center so long without proper funding, so we feel overwhelmed, we will be glad to get assistance, but we have hope. We have another project we are working on plaas.africa, which is a mobile web application and platform that enables individual farmers or co-operatives to manage their daily farming productions and stocks on the blockchain system using various blockchain technologies. We are trying to get the funding to run the project as well at this stage.
Why do you think, that blockchain is the future?
AIakanani: This technology is amazing, this tool can liberate people and give the unbanked an opportunity to join financial system without paperwork and bank approvals.